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Vietnam announces first domestic COVID-19 case after nearly 3 months

Monday, November 30, 2020, 19:11 GMT+7
Vietnam announces first domestic COVID-19 case after nearly 3 months
People wear face masks and stand at a residential area in Vietnam. Photo: Viet Dung / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam documented one domestic COVID-19 case on Monday, ending a streak of nearly three months of zero locally-transmitted infections, according to the Ministry of Health.

The patient, numbered 1,347, had direct contact with his friend, who is Vietnam Airlines’ male flight attendant and had been quarantined in Ho Chi Minh City, the health ministry elaborated.

The flight attendant, confirmed as patient 1,342 on Sunday, returned to the city from Japan on November 14.

Patient 1,347 is closely linked to patient 1,342, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said on Monday evening.

The flight attendant came into contact with his colleague, patient 1,325, at a Vietnam Airlines-operated quarantine facility at 115 Hong Ha Street, Ward 2, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City when he was staying there from November 14 to 18.

He tested negative for the virus twice so he was allowed to self-isolate at his rented house at P305, 3rd Floor, 50 Bach Dang Street, Ward 2, Tan Binh District.

He had contact with three people, including his mother, a male friend, and a female friend, at his rented house.

The male friend, who has a registered address in Ward 3, District 6, Ho Chi Minh City, once came to stay with patient 1,342.

The flight attendant retested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.

Authorities immediately quarantined his three contacts for testing. The male friend was then confirmed as patient 1,347.

The latest patient taught English at KEY English Center at 59 Nguyen Ba Tuyen Street, Ward 12, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City from November 18 to 25, according to an epidemiological investigation.

He also taught at another branch of the English center in District 10 and visited a café and karaoke parlor during the same period.

Health workers have identified and quarantined at least 192 people who had direct and indirect contact with patient 1,347.

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health says it is conducting contact tracing.

Minister Long has directed the health department to isolate and fumigate the places the patient had visited.

He warned the public to stay on high alert at a time when the coronavirus has re-emerged in many parts of the world and Vietnam is still granting entry to certain groups of people who are subject to mandatory quarantine.

Vietnam has confirmed 1,347 coronavirus cases as of Monday night, with 1,179 recoveries and 35 virus-related deaths.

The latest domestic infection was recorded as the country had spent 88 days detecting no local transmission.

The Southeast Asian country began denying entry to foreign nationals on March 22 but the government allows foreign experts, skilled workers, investors, and diplomats to enter the country on a case-by-case basis, subject to mandatory quarantine.

Though international commercial flights are now suspended, charter planes to the country have been arranged to bring in experts, skilled workers, and diplomats, and to repatriate Vietnamese citizens stranded in other nations and territories due to the pandemic.

Vietnam currently charges international arrivals for quarantine.

It provided the quarantine service for free in the past.

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